2021-2022 Student Catalog 
    Jun 21, 2024  
2021-2022 Student Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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Music, A.S. (Tracks in: Musicianship; Recording)

Contact Information

Program Requirements

Typical Program

Degree/Certificate:    Associate in Science
HEGIS Code:            5610
SUNY Code:             0682
Major Code:             MUSI

The Career 

The associate in science degree program offers students quality music academics, performance opportunities, and music production opportunities.  The degree provides academic course work appropriate for students interested in transferring to four-year institutions that offer traditional and contemporary music programs in areas such as music education, music performance, music industry, music business, or music recording.

The associate in science program is designed for students who have had previous music experience in an academic setting. The degree program continues to develop the students’ musicianship skills through music history, music theory, aural skills, basic piano skills, and performance opportunities.  Students are offered opportunities for collaboration in audio recording and production, theatre arts, and dance.

Graduates from NCCC’s Music program have successfully completed transfer auditions and attended four-year programs in: Music Education, Music Business, Music Therapy, Music Performance, Sound Recording Technology, Musical Theatre and Minister of Music programs at schools such as Buffalo State College, SUNY at Buffalo, SUNY Fredonia, SUNY Potsdam, SUNY Purchase, Nazareth College in Rochester, Canisius College, Ithaca College and out-of-state schools such as Mansfield University in Pennsylvania and Ohio State University.

The NCCC Approach 

Successful Music students enter the curriculum having studied classical music on their major instrument (instrument or voice) with a private instructor. They also have basic piano skills, experience in the application of aural and written music theory and some music history knowledge. 

At NCCC, students will concentrate on the performance of their major instruments as the degree program prepares them for transfer into baccalaureate programs. Exposure to all musical genres is stressed with emphasis in classical, electronic, jazz and popular music. Students are afforded abundant performing opportunities in a variety of ensemble courses. Campus concerts and community recitals offer students many venues to fine-tune their music making experiences.  

Successful transfer auditions demonstrate the student’s proficiency in performing music requiring a high caliber of skill and technical ability. It will demonstrate the student’s ability to read music at sight and recall and repeat musical patterns. Students will be required to exhibit appropriate audition decorum. In addition, transfer students will require placement tests in aural and keyboard skills, written theory and music history. 

Transfer Institutions

Students from this program typically transfer to:

SUNY Fredonia
SUNY College at Buffalo
Canisius College

Admissions Requirements

Prospective students are not required to audition for acceptance into the Music degree program. The program is designed for students who have had previous music experience in an academic setting. Prospective students whose background lacks academic musical training are encouraged to enroll in MUS 102: Foundations of Music Theory, before enrolling in the recommended music course sequence. Upon acceptance into our music program, students may choose either the “Musicianship” track, for those students planning to transfer into 4-year programs, or the “Music Recording” track, for those planning to seek employment, transfer to a 4-year program, or continue their studies at NCCC in the Audio Recording & Production Certificate program.  It is essential for students to have access to a computer and the internet as music degree courses require the use of such technology.


The NCCC Music Department features a spacious rehearsal and recording space with Steinway Grand pianos, instructional smart classrooms, private practice rooms, and a 700 seat, state-of-the-art theater. Access to such facilities enables the music student to experience true-to-life performance practice.

Program Goals and Objectives

  • To prepare students for a successful audition leading to acceptance as transfer students into Music Education, Music Performance, Recording Technology, Music Business or other music-related programs at four-year colleges, universities and conservatories
  • To improve musicianship and performance skills
  • To provide students with a well-rounded music and liberal arts education
  • To assist students in meeting a minimum of seven of the ten SUNY General Education requirements

Program Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • Identify, distinguish and notate written and aural elements of music theory
  • Sing with accurate intonation in a variety of tonalities and meters
  • Analyze compositional techniques in all musical style periods
  • Compare and  contrast characteristics of historical music time periods
  • Describe characteristics of major composers
  • Perform piano compositions in major and minor keys
  • Perform in a variety of venues
  • Demonstrate preparation for a transfer audition

Program Requirements (MUSI)

Students must choose either the Musicianship Track or Recording Track.

  1. A total of at least 62-credit hours with a minimum curriculum grade-point average of 2.0. Academic Foundations courses do not count toward the degree.
  2. Music: A minimum of 14-credit hours to include:
    MUS 117 - Music History & Repertoire I 
    MUS 118 - Music History & Repertoire II  
    MUS 171 - Written Theory I  
    MUS 172 - Written Theory II  
    MUS 183 - Aural Skills I  
    MUS 184 - Aural Skills II  
  3. Basic Communication - Written: A minimum of 6-credit hours to include:
    ENG 101 - Writing I  
    ENG 102 - Writing II & Introduction to Literature  
  4. Basic Communication - Oral: A minimum of 3-credit hours to include:
    ___  ___  Basic Communication  - Oral General Education-approved elective
  5. Health/Physical Education: A minimum of 2-credit hours
  6. Foreign Language - General Education:  A minimum of 6-credit hours of the same language
    ___  ___    Foreign Language  - General Education-approved electives selected from FRE, GER or ITA
  7. Humanities - General Education:  A minimum of 3-credit hours to include:
    ___  ___      Humanities  General Education-approved elective
  8. Mathematics - General Education : A minimum of 3-credit hours to include:
    ___  ___    Mathematics - General Education  
  9. General Education: A minimum of 6-credit hours to be selected from two different categories below:
    American History  - General Education-approved elective
    Other World Civilization  - General Education-approved elective
    Social Science  - General Education-approved elective
    Western Civilization  - General Education-approved elective
    Natural Science  - General Education-approved elective

    Track Requirements

    Musicianship Track (19 credits)
    MUS 133 - American Popular Music 
    MUS 140 - Piano Musicianship 
    MUS 192 - Audition Preparation 
    MUS 242 - Conducting 
    MUS ___  - Four (4) credits of music ensembles
    ___   ___  - Four (4) credits of any ARP/MUA/MUS course(s)
    ___   ___ - Recommended Electives: A minimum of 3-credit hours by advisement (not MUS)

    Recording Track (19 credits)
    ARP 100 - Audio Production Experience 
    ARP 101 - Introduction to Pro Tools 
    ARP 110 - Essentials of Pro Tools 
    MUS 101 - Music Appreciation  
    MUS 150 - Introduction to Sound 
    MUS 190 - Critical Listening and Acoustics 
    MUS 191 - Electronic Music and MIDI 
    Business:  A minimum of 3-credit hours to include:
    BUS 101 - Organization & Management  

Typical Program

First Semester - Musicianship Track

Total Credit Hours: 15

Second Semester - Musicianship Track

Total Credit Hours: 15

Third Semester - Musicianship Track

  • 2 Cr.
  • 1 Cr.
  • Music elective 3 Cr.
  • Music ensemble elective 1 Cr.
  • Humanities (H) General Education elective 3 Cr.
  • Foreign Language General Education elective (selected from FRE, GER or ITA) 3 Cr.
  • Basic Communication General Education elective with SPE prefix 3 Cr.

Total Credit Hours: 16

Fourth Semester - Musicianship Track

  • 2 Cr.
  • Music elective 1 Cr.
  • Music Ensemble elective 1 Cr.
  • General Education elective selected from (AH, NS, OW, SS, WC) 3 Cr.
  • General Education elective selected from (AH, NS, OW, SS, WC) 3 Cr.
  • Free elective (not MUS) 3 Cr.
  • Foreign Language General Education elective (selected from FRE, GER or ITA ) 3 Cr.

Total Credit Hours: 16

Total Credit Hours: 14

Total Credit Hours: 16

Third Semester-Recording Track

  • 3 Cr.
  • Humanities (H) General Education elective 3 Cr.
  • Mathematics (M) General Education elective 3 Cr.
  • General Education elective selected from (AH, NS, OW, SS, WC) 3 Cr.
  • Dance/Physical Education/Health elective - 1 Cr.
  • Foreign Language (FL) General Education elective - 3 Cr.

Total Credit Hours: 16

Fourth Semester-Recording Track

Applied Music Instruction

Credit will be granted for individual study of voice and/or the following instrument:  piano, classical guitar, electric guitar, electric bass, flute, clarinet, trumpet, saxophone, violin, viola, cello, double bass, oboe, English horn, bassoon, French horn, trombone, tuba, organ, harpsichord, percussion, conducting, and music composition.

Credit is granted with satisfactory performance at one jury examination at the conclusion of the semester, and, for Music majors, at a minimum of one departmental recital.  Students will be assessed by Music Department faculty, based upon improvement from their individual entry skill levels.  All students begin at level I of voice or instrument.  Teachers are assigned from those recognized by the department as capable of teaching voice or their instrument at an academic college level.

Fees for the private lessons are set and collected by the private teacher.

Scholarship Opportunities

There are several scholarships available to NCCC students. Scholarship deadline dates vary each semester.  For more information, please visit the scholarship webpage at www.niagaracc.suny.edu/scholarships. The NCCC Scholarship Office is located within the Financial Aid Complex, A-114 or by phone (716) 614-6205.

Ruth J. McDonald Memorial Music Scholarship

The late Ruth J. McDonald of Lockport, a former music teacher at Middleport High School and a past member of the Barge Canal Arts Society, established this scholarship.  Her interest in the arts led her to create a scholarship for aspiring artists.

Frequency:  fall and spring semesters

Criteria:  Applicant must be a current or incoming student enrolled in the Music Program attending either full or part-time.  Continuing students must have a minimum 2.5 GPA.